Sunday, January 6, 2013

Book Reviews: Headlines and Hollywood Humor

Here are some humorous books I read recently that tie into world events and Hollywood.

Murder At The Academy Awards: A Red Carpet Murder Mystery

by Joan Rivers and Jerrilyn Farmer

* * * *

Four Stars

In the acknowledgments in the book, Joan Rivers states, the characters based on her, Max Taylor, and the her daughter Drew, based on Melisa Rivers are asking the red carpet stars whodunit instead of who are you wearing. This is a comedy mystery and a fun read. The heroine, Max Taylor has Joan River’s humor, so the book is hilarious.

This is the first book of a series by Joan Rivers and Jerrilyn Farmer called Red Carpet Murder Mysteries. The award winning co-author, Jerrilyn Farmer, has written seven books in the Madeline Bean mystery series: Desperately Seeking Sushi, The Flaming Luau of Death, Perfect Sax, Mumbo Gumbo, Dim Sum Dead, Killer Wedding, Immaculate Reception, and Sympathy For The Devil. The titles alone entice me to read them, if they are a s funny as this one, I’ll love them.

This book doesn't have strong fleshed out characters but it doesn't need them. Everyone knows who Joan and Melissa Rives are so there is an immediate connection to Max and Drew Taylor. The book Is full of interesting characters and the dialogue is fabulous, reflecting each character’s distinctive voice. The story begins when Max gets an exclusive interview with Halsey, a famous starlet, a child star who successfully became a notorious adult star, involved with drugs. She has just been released from rehab and has been nominated for an academy award. When Max interview her on the red carpet at the academy awards, Halsey is wearing a bra and a thong, no designer dress, no dress at all, and she appears under the influence. Then, as Max interviews her, she drops dead. As you guessed, it turns out she was murdered. The story pulled me in from the beginning. It’s a fast, fun, funny read and I was surprised to find out who did it. I look forward to reading the rest of the series.

They Eat Puppies Don't They by Christopher Buckley

* * * *

Four Stars

This is incredible satire. The book is hilarious, insane, and frightening as when I read it I thought – this could actually happen. A Washington lobbyist is hired to create anti-Chinese sentiment among the American public to help a company working on a top secret weapon system gain congressional approval. When the Dalai Lama is hospitalized, this lobbyist sees his chance to start a rumor that will gain unfavorable media coverage of China. Things unwind from there. A maddening comedy of errors.

Christopher Buckley is the author of 14 books. You may be familiar with his, Thank You For Smoking, which was a hilarious move, released in 2005. In his bio on the inner back cover of the book, it states he, “visited China in 1974 as a guest of the government. A spontaneous attempt to present Chairman Mao with a jar of American peanut butter resulted in his nearly being gunned down by unamused palace guards.”

Anyone that likes humor and satire and current events would love this book. If you are a fan of such shows as John Steward and Steven Cobert, then this is a must read as you will love this book. It’s creative, refreshing, original, and laugh out loud funny. I highly recommend They Eat Puppies, Don’t They.


Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher

* * * *

Four Stars

This book was written after she created her Broadway Show by the same name and apparently it's basically the same content as the live performance. It's about her life, growing up with a celebrity mother (Debbie Reynolds)  and coping with her bi-polar disorder. It basically reads like a comedian's monologue. The humor is wry and witty and the book is very honest. Anyone who likes Carrie Fisher or books about celebrities or the humorous side of copying with a mental illness should love this.

1 comment:

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